Rumblings of discontent amongst Ukrainians, sparked off by massive increases in housing, utility and communal service charges seem to be getting louder. Whether they 'blow themselves out' or continue to grow, and what the political repercussions are if they do, is anyone's guess.
Here's some bits from a story today on the Lugansk-based 'parallel media' site:
Luganskites called on to pay for public services at old tariff rates only and participate in a "communal self-defence" campaign.
Today at a meeting of the Lugansk press-club, representatives of public organizations called upon Luganskites to participate in a communal self-defence campaign.
The initiators proposed that people pay for public services at the old tariff rates until the authorities finds a way of overcoming the crisis in the housing and communal services complex.
Co-ordinators of the action include the 'Civil Forum of Ukraine', 'Lugansk coalition of Citizens for the transparency of the actions of the authorities', 'the Committee for Constitutional rights and freedoms of Citizens', and 'Citizen's control'.
According to the head of the Committee for the protection of constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens Nikolai Kozyrev, today the majority of population find themselves on the fringes of destitution - to provide nourishment for one person per month a minimum of 750 Hvn. [about $125] is necessary. "To place the solution of all problems in the housing and communal services complex on the shoulders of people by increasing tariffs is simply inhuman. The population should not pay for the inactivity of authorities and the thriftlessness of kommunal'shchikov."
The Chairman of "Citizen's control", Victor Vakumenko said that on 9th December, the initiators of the action intend to conduct a hearing on questions of municipal reform with the participation of people's deputies. Action will be extended to an oblast, and an all-Ukraine level.
The initiators of the action declare, that while there is no agreement with the 'kommunal'shchiki', the populus has the legal right to pay 'kommun-uslugi' at the old valuations. They see this as the only way they can force the authorities to earnestly examine the entire municipal service system.